Re: spiral still (damn fine thing)
- Thanks for your kind words Mark. I think you still have room for
improvement though. Spreading the reflux well over the packing is one
thing that makes a lot of difference. I installed a perforated plate
on top of the column and that with precise power control made a huge
improvement. If you can fine tune the power well (down to 2-3W
increments) you can achieve automated shutdown when heads are gone
before ethanol starts to come out. I like to run several hours on
full reflux to get all the unwanted stuff into the column (big
advantage for air-cooling), and then add the power carefully to get a
drop every two seconds or so. This results extremely pure middle cut
and allows using 10-80-10 or even 5-90-5 cuts for average sugar mash.
Getting accurate power controller is problematic, I solved this by
using computer controlled solid state relay to regulate power (look
for the old posts).
Personally I have stopped using my VM and LM rigs. It's potstill for
whiskey and gin and spiral+column for vodka. Next setup in distant
future is total computer control + air cooling. I already have the
power control, just need to rig some thermoprobes and write a proper
program (as if I ever find time for that).
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "bordermeister"
> Well have finally got around to setting up a spiral still as per
> Riku's setup. I must say I am impressed with its (spiral still with
> column) ability to produce a clean vodka. I gathered together about
> 25 litres of heads and tails plus one burnt whisky mash effort.
> tasted (had to try 5mls) and smelt pungent. I have been playingwith
> power control but have found the application of extra towels (asvery
> extra insulation on boiler and coil) to be the most efficient.
> The run has moved from heads to main run and I must say it is a
> clean 94.5% vodka with only the slightest aftertaste. I willprobably
> rest it on carbon but if it using it for essences I wouldn't evenmix
> bother - the aftertaste is very slight. Now considering it was a
> of heads and tails from most of my experiments of sugar, dextroseand
> whisky washes (not togfether)plus one really burnt malt whiskywash,
> I am very impressed. This just sits there with no waterrequirements,
> ticking along ouputting 94%+ vodka with low power requirementsusing
> (~350W) out of some very ordinary low wines.
> Thanks Riku, I have been meaning to test this for ages but finally
> got around to getting a 36mm SS column welded up with a milking
> machine connector to setup on my keg.
> So now I have pretty good whisky coming out of my LM PDA,
> Damn good vodka coming out of my VM PDA,
> Pretty good vodka coming out of my spiral from heads and tails and
> blown experiments (Needs a little carbon treatment or good for
> All in all is looking pretty good with minimal wastage after re-
> everything to extract the max.(as
> Thanks and appreciation to:
> Harry for his advice on making a liquid malt whisky,
> Mike and Mike for an extrordinary LM/VM PDA,
> Riku for his efforts on the air cooled spiral still (with column).
> Next project is playing with a recirculating water cooling setup
> per Harry's) for use with a 2" copper pot still head and liebig.spiral
> Excuse the long ramble, have been sampling the results of the